Serving the Goreville & Lake of Egypt areas since 1977


Snowstorm blankets Goreville

Posted December 26, 2012 by Joe Rehana in News
Much of downtown Goreville remained deserted until past noon Wednesday as an estimated 14 inches of snow socked in the region.

Much of downtown Goreville remained deserted until past noon Wednesday as an estimated 14 inches of snow socked in the region.

[This article was updated Jan. 2 to include additional information]  Snow removal crews were busy Wednesday morning throughout Johnson County as they cleared an estimated 14 inches off of Goreville village streets and an estimated ten inches off of Vienna’s.

Emergency personnel in the county were also kept busy responding to a total of ten weather-related calls both on and off the interstates with the worst accident involving a mini van requiring three of its injured occupants to be airlifted to area hospitals.

“The injuries that were flown out could have been life threatening,” said ambulance service coordinator Wendi Bailey. “We had all three of our ambulances, an ambulance from Lake Egypt, one from Massac Co and helicopters from Marion, Perryville, Mo. and Mt. Vernon [responding to the call].”

Interstate 24 near exit 16 remained shut down for several hours in both directions Wednesday evening as emergency crews were joined by Illinois State Police’s reconstruction team, Vienna Fire Department, and Illinois Department of Transportation’s cleanup crews dealing with the wreck. An emergency shelter was opened at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Vienna to assists stranded travelers.

A screen grab from of the system moving across the region Wednesday.

A screen grab from of the system moving across the region Wednesday.

The season’s first snowfall was some of Southern Illinois’ most accumulation in years with the Edwards County town of Albion receiving a whopping 18 inches. The Paducah, Ky. National Weather Service branch issued its first blizzard warning in its 21-year history, canceling the warning later Wednesday as it put a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 3 p.m. with more accumulation predicted for Friday. The weather advisory called for snow and blowing snow with a possible two or three inch of accumulation and heavier snow bands across southeast Illinois.

“Blowing and drifting snow will continue through much of the afternoon,” reported the advisory. “This will make for hazardous conditions. Some roadways, especially secondary roads in southwest Indiana and southern Illinois, will remain locally impassable.”

The National Weather Service out of Paducah issued a preliminary local storm report for Goreville submitted by a trained spotter at 12:20 p.m., Dec. 26 measuring 14 inches for the region. Much of downtown Goreville remained deserted until well past noon Wednesday with officials requesting motorists to limit their travel.

“We’ve never missed an opening since ’72; due to weather,” said Steve Carroll, Co-owner Goreville Food Markets. Carroll assisted in picking up a few of his employees as Johnson County secondary roads remained mostly impassable until Thursday leaving many vehicles stranded in their driveways. Outside Goreville Food Market Wednesday morning, Greg Sullivan of Sullivan Trucking was finishing plowing the store’s parking lot, which remained mostly empty as snow continued falling into the afternoon.

Reports on Goreville Gazette’s Facebook page praised Sullivan and others who helped their neighbors dislodge snowed-in vehicles and helped clear driveways. Facebook lit up with pictures of children and adults making snowmen, snow horses, snow angles and even snow ice cream. Not everyone was entirely happy with the snow on Facebook. Goreville resident Liz Linton posted her complaints of having to repeat snow removal from her family’s driveway after village crews pushed snow off of a side street.

Linton joined her husband in shoveling a path to the street from their garage a half a block off of Broadway early Wednesday morning. “We’ve been shoveling since around 6:30,” Linton said about an hour into their morning. “I’ve got to get my husband to work.”

Linton and her family were shoveling snow for several hours; she said was not excited about the timing of the storm, adding, it was pretty when it began, but it made her immediately ready for Spring.